Friday, May 31, 2013

Style Booster - What's outside?

What's outside your house says
as much about you as what's INSIDE!
While we've been concentrating on ways to boost your "style" inside your home,
with the warmer weather, I thought it was time to take a closer look at the outside.

The best way to be objective about this exercise is to actually 
go through the motion of approaching your front door
as if you have never seen it before.

What do you see?
Is it cluttered with mismatched pots, neglected plants or 
worn-out wreaths?

Or is there organization and harmony?
While your entry may not be this grand, the principles are the same.
The potted plants are carefully arranged to lead you to the front door.
And the harmony comes from everything in a singular color scheme.
Even the stone pavers echo the green!
Simplicity is often the best treatment for your front entry.  
No fussy ornamentation here.  Just well-placed planters,
 iron lanterns, and a fabulous bright green door!
(I love the shape of the mullions on the door and side lights - so unique)
It's everything you could ask for...
interesting, pretty and an invitation to come inside.

So, here's the question - how do you put your
on the front of YOUR house?

(Super tip #1:  Pinpoint the best architectural features of your front entry and play them up!) 
All eyes are focused on the door and side lights in this beautiful entry.
Everything is placed strategically to frame the door...
And the hanging lantern creates an exclamation point!

(Super tip #2:  Edit, edit, edit.  Less is more when it comes to this area of your home.
Pick one or two signature elements that speak to your style and then stop! 
You want your guests to be intrigued by your entry, not overwhelmed.)

Maybe it's as simple as adding a stunning door knocker!
I love this antique one so much I'm seriously considering reproducing it...
It could definitely be a "signature" piece for my front door.

Now it's your turn.  Take a walk up to your front door and ask yourself,
"Does this say something about ME?"


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mid Century Modern Lives On!

I'm happy to report 
Mid-Century Modern 
is here to stay! 

But the new interpretations are far from the stereotypes you associate with the originals.
They're updated in look and comfort -
designed in a fresh way that's ready for today's lifestyle.

I've always had a thing for the clean-lined aesthetic of Modern furniture.
Like a well-edited room, every inch of this furniture is well-conceived.
There's no place to hide bad design elements.

Hickory Chair Artisan Grand Credenza

Whether credenza or lounge chair, all the lines are in complete view
and ready for inspection. You can easily spot design flaws.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case with many furniture styles that have
emerged in the marketplace over the years.

Maybe that's the why Modern design has become iconic.
It's the perfect blend of form and function.

Baker Friso Bench 

And yes, you CAN integrate this fabulous style into your own living space.
It's all about the interesting mix, isn't it?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Russian Kale, Peonies and Market Baskets

Every May, 
a wonderful thing happens across the street from my studio...
The farmer's market comes to life and I'm ready and waiting to dig in!
I really think they should change the name to 
"Gourmet Market"
It's so much more than just baskets of veggies.
There are omelette stations, artisan cheeses, and even gnocchi!
(I just had to have the spinach gnocchi stuffed with gruyere)

 Aren't these peonies gorgeous!  And in my favorite shade of pink, too.

How can you NOT smile looking at these  
fresh florals bundled together in mason jars.

As I was leaving, I caught a glimpse of these fabulous market baskets.
Made by hand and signed, they are the perfect carry-all for all my goodies!

What a wonderful way to start my Memorial Day weekend.
Hope all of you have a great one too!

Remember to fly your flag 
in memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Show House...In Progress

Checkin' in with you
on the latest for the 

Even though the show doesn't open until September,
the designers have to submit their concept boards to the design committee this week
for final approval.

There's so much to do between now and then!

For one thing, there's major renovation going on at the house 
and it will take every bit of three months to complete it.

As for the designers, once our boards are done, 
we then have to fine tune our designs and work on the details,
like finding the perfect lamps, mirrors and other accessories.
It also takes time to get things ordered, shipped and received by our deadline.
I can't tell you how many times over the years I've been stressed out about deliveries!

But today I checked one important detail off my list... 

Anabel's Oriental Rugs 
A rug can truly transform a room, don't you think?
And this one that I picked out from my friends at ANABEL'S ORIENTAL RUGS
Just the right balance of grayish blue and cream, with a hint of orangey red.
It's going to look awesome with my chair fabric!

Can't give away too many secrets right now, 
since my concept board is on its way to the committee.

But stay tuned,  I'll be able to show you more in a few days.

Until then, 

Friday, May 17, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Show House Sneak Peek

Hard to believe... but it's that time of year again when 
unveils its location for their annual Show House.

And I have to say, this year's house is going to be a fabulous tribute to
the Women's Council who is celebrating their 40th Show House anniversary.
Located in Anchorage, KY (my little community)
"The Anchorage" was built in 1872 as the home of James W. Goslee, 
a retired riverboat captain.

Designers were invited to tour the house last week during a 
Wine and Cheese party.
This is when everyone had a chance to wander around 
and decide which spaces they would like to design.
The committee met the next day and
poured over the selections to decide which designers would participate this year
Not an easy process, especially when so many vie for the same spaces!

I was really excited when the call came from the committee and they offered me 
the upstairs sitting room!

It may not look very appealing right now, but the wheels are turning!
I've got so many ideas for this cute little space.
What do you think?  Should I keep that yellow valance on the window? lol :)

The fireplace wall has so much potential...

We are working overtime to get the concept board together
 by next week so it can be submitted to the committee for approval.

I'll keep you posted on our progress as we create this fun room
so check back with me.

I Love Show Houses!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Walking the halls...

My Mother's Day was just that - 
a day when I could create my very own "day"!

And what fun I had visiting my daughter in Cincinnati.
What else was on my agenda, you ask?

Something was pulling me to return to my "Design Roots"!
This is the place where I spent my college years and MANY LONG HOURS,
or DAAP as it's called (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning)

I have a love/hate relationship with this place, 
as I'm sure many of you can relate to with your own college adventure!  
It's the place that challenged everything I knew (or thought I knew)
and pushed me to the limit,  both creatively and intellectually.
The teaching style was based on critiques,
a grueling process of design development that usually lasted a full 3 months 
and culminated in critical assessment of your project by all of the department professors.

I was beaten down, encouraged, beaten down some more
until the final project was something I was truly proud of.
This was my life for five years.

And this is where I spent it - Studio class.
Sitting on one of those very uncomfortable metal stools  brought back so many emotions...
tears, sleep deprivation, laughs and elation all wrapped together.

But in the end, I must have been smiling in this shot for a reason.
I was pulled here on Mother's Day for a reason - 

It was a sweet reminder of how my life has unfolded, from design student 
to mother of two beautiful, bright children.

It truly was a " Mother's" day for me :)

Thanks to my wonderful family.

I certainly have.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Style Booster - What are you clinging to?

Is your living room turning into THIS???

It seems things come in spurts.
Lately, I've heard the same concern from many of my clients,


Since we've been working so hard on making your home
I just couldn't go another week without talking about this issue.

We've all been given family "heirlooms" with the expectation that we will
preserve and protect for the next generation.
The "issue" becomes when our heirloom stash starts to dictate the decisions in our homes.
This is so counter to the nurturing environment we are trying to create!

Are you guilty of moving all the furniture around in your living room
just to accommodate Aunt Gertrude's Victorian settee and matching chair?
Are you lining pieces up against the walls because there's no more room?

You get the point.
Sometimes these old pieces, are just that...

It's time to take a hard, objective look at your accumulated family treasures
and decide which ones are truly important to you
and which ones are NOT.

I'm not suggesting that you get rid of all your family ties,
just that you make a very conscious decision of what comes in to your home.
Ask yourself, "Am I taking this piece out of guilt or obligation?"
"Do I really love this now and forever?"
There are diplomatic ways to decline a well-intentioned gift.
Offer it to a sibling or close friend - someone who will truly enjoy it.

Charlotte Moss design - Courtesy of Traditional Homes Magazine
Imagine your home with ONLY the hand-picked, precious pieces that speak to you.
I love this room designed by Charlotte Moss
because it's the perfect blend of edited antiques, updated accessories
and comfortable upholstery.

Maybe you didn't have the good fortune to inherit a timeless coromandel screen like this one,
but the concept is still the same.
This room works because it's a finely tuned mix of new and old,
fresh and historic, colorful and muted.

Your home can be just as inviting.  Really!
It starts with a decision -
 "I'm only going to live with things I love!"